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Acceptance of Jains in Minority
JAINS : Accredited with Minority Status
ACCEPTANCE TO JAINS IN MINORITY AND JAINISM AS A SEPARATE RELIGION IN THEIR SPEECHES & LETTERS BY THE HON’BLE PRESIDENTS, PRIME MINISTERS, GOVERNORS & OTHER MINISTERS OF THE GOVT. OF INDIA :-
I) On January 25, 1950, a delegation of Jains met the then prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, and other central leaders to draw their attention to the anomalous position of Jains under sub-clause (b) of Clause 2 of Article 25 and a petition was submitted to him. Jawaharlal Nehru clearly assured the delegation that Jains were not Hindus and their separate status would be preserved.
Six days later on January 31, 1950 the principal private secretary of Prime Minister, Shri AV Pai replied to the petition vide letter No. 33/94/50 where he said:-
“it is clear that Buddhists are not Hindus and therefore there need be no apprehension that the Jains are designated as Hindus. There is no doubt that the Jains are a different religious community and this accepted position is in no way affected by the Constitution.”
Ex-President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on Sunday, Jan 23, 2006 at Sharavanbelagola (Hassan district, Karnataka):
ii) Ex-President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on Sunday, Jan 23, 2006 at Sharavanbelagola (Hassan district, Karnataka):
“Declared open the first Mahamastakabhisheka of the millennium and reiterated the relevance of the Jain tenets of non-violence in a strife-ridden world. Addressing a vast gathering President said the spiritual congregation symbolized the continuity of a great tradition, which started in the 3rd century B.C. by Chandragupta Maurya, who settled here with 12,000 sages and munis performing austerities.”
Mr. Kalam went nostalgic at the sight of the Jain Munis who congregated here and described his spiritual experience when he visited Pavapuri and recalled the contribution of Jainism to Indian philosophy, thought, literature and science. He said great poets such as Pampa, Ranna and Ratnakara Varni has enriched Kannada literature, while Jain rulers contributed immensely to the field of art and architecture.
iii) Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Ex-President observed that Jainism is a spiritual system and when religion graduates to spirituality –peace and harmony comes to the world. Dr.Kalam’s message to the delegation on the occasion of Mahavir Jayanti, (Rashtrapati Bhavan 01-04-2004, New Delhi)
Iv) In Inaugural Speech by the President of India Dr. Rajendra Prasad said in 15th World Vegetarian Congress 1957):-
“Jainism with its practical application in the most meticulous and in some respects extreme form”
v) My learning of Vedas, of Islam, Buddhism and Jainism has taught to do the right thing.” (President of India Sankar Dayal Sharma)
vi) In his Allahabad speech on 03.09.1949, Ex-Prime Minister Pt Jwahar Lal Nehru said:-
“No doubt India had a vast majority o Hindus but they could not forget the fact that there are also minorities, Moslems, Christians, Parsis and Jains. If India was understood as a “Hindu Rashtra” it meant that the minorities were not cent per cent citizens of the country” (The Statesman, September 5, 1949).
vii) Shri Vallabhbhai Patel, Ex-Deputy Prime Minister of India wrote in his letter of August 25, 1946 addressed to Bhagchand Soni, President, All-India Digamber Jain Mahasabha, assured the jain community that they need have no concerns about their religious rights and promised that: “In free India there would be no restrictions upon the religious liberty of any community and there need be no apprehensions in this regard”. viii) The Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh’s address at the annual conference of State Minorities Commisions in New Delhi attended by the Union Minority Affairs Minister, Mr. A.R..Antulay, the Union Human Resource Development Minister, Mr. Arjun Singh and the NCM’s Chairman, Mr. Hamid Ansari Stressing pluralism of Indian culture Dr. Singh said:-
“that the nation ‘does not belong to any single race and that it belongs “to a mosaic of religiously, linguistically and culturally varied communities…India must remain a nation where pluralism and socio-religious variety are respected. In a pluralistic society like ours, national identity cannot be adjudged by any litmus test… This nation does not belong to any single race, least of all to any group of religious extremists.”
Union Minister for Minority Affairs A.R. Antulay said “Dr. Singh’s presence at the meeting indicated the importance the Government attached to the minorities.
ix) The Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh launched the Jain Manuscripts Catalouge of the collections of British Library, London, in New Delhi today., 27th May, 2006, on the occasion Dr. Manmohan Singh said :-
“This ancient land of India has been home to some of the greatest religious movements and religions known to mankind, among which Jainism occupies an important palce of pride. It is an important constituent of our composite culture and civilizational heritage.”
“Further he said: “The rational basis of Jainism has contributed to the growth of scientific temper and the fight against superstition and blind belief. Rejecting the rigidities of doctrine, Jainism presented a new openness and in a new freshness in our approach to matters considered spiritual. This approach has helped in grappling with social, religious and even economic problems facing mankind. Jainism is part and parcel of the rich tradition of rational intellectual discourse that has flourished in this ancient land of India.
“Indeed, Mahatma Gandhi wrote that “Jainism represents the highest flight of logic. It has taken nothing for granted and has endeavored to prove metaphysical truth by challenging the intellect”. The tradition not to take anything for granted and examine all postulates on the basis of reason and intellect needs to be followed in our own time.”
x) On the occasion of the Dalit-Minority International Conference held on December 27, 2006 at New Delhi, Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister’s speech at.
“In an International Conference like this it is relevant to recognize that a minority in one country or region could be a majority elsewhere. Indeed, every social and religious group can claim to be a minority somewhere or the other”
“Some minorities in India have done better than others. For example, in India, minority communities like the Jains and the Sikhs have fared relatively well from the process of social and economic development.”
xi) Shri Pranav Mukherjee, India’s Foreign Minister said: at a reception hosted in his honour by Ambassador Ronen Sen in New York on Sunday, September 24, 2006:
“Not many people are aware that while the great religions of the East – Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism and many others – grew from the soil of India, the faiths from West Asia were also embraced with equal respect and reverence.”
xii) Governor R.L. Bhatia has called upon “the Centre and the State Government to preserve the rich cultural heritage of Jains in the country. He said the five cardinal principles of Jainism, essentially non-violence, were getting more and more relevance in society.” (October 20, 2006, The Hindu)
xiii) The Chairman of the Second National Administrative Reforms Commission, M. Veerappa Moily, in his inaugural speech said:-
“Jainism was one of the oldest religions of the world and was relevant in modern times. It was rational, logical and highly philosophical and had elements of patriotism in its teachings. These qualities of Jainism should be studied and researched.” – The Hindu, Sunday, Nov 12, 2006.
xiv) Ex-Chief Minister of U.P. Shri Mulayam Singh addressed at Manglayatan University, Aligarh that :- “Jain Religion is the oldest religion of the world.” xv) RSS supreme Mohan Bhagwat said in his speech in a function on 5th Dec 2009, held at Godiji Parshwanath Mandir Pune “Jains are demanding minority status as soon as possible.” Bhagwat’s statement given in front of public is very important as Hindutwa people, including some so-called Jains have been always opposed to the minority status of Jain Community.